Youth cafe plan for Dunmow

PUBLISHED: 10:47 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 07:04 30 May 2010

The possible site of the juice bar

The possible site of the juice bar

AN INTERNET café and juice bar has received police backing as a place for teenagers to go and socialise. Based on the southern end of Dunmow s High Street, the new bar, which is subject to a planning decision before August 28, will be a hive of youth acti

AN INTERNET café and juice bar has received police backing as a place for teenagers to go and socialise.

Based on the southern end of Dunmow's High Street, the new bar, which is subject to a planning decision before August 28, will be a hive of youth activity, with the sole aim of providing a "safe and inviting place for young people to meet with friends in the town centre".

The application, which has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council by Katy Patrick of Counting House Lane, Great Dunmow, underwent the scrutiny of the Dunmow Planning Committee on July 31 and was met with a lukewarm response, with councillors highlighting potential problems to local residents, such as noise and teens gathering outside.

Councillors Phil Milne and Ron Clover recommended that it be monitored, rather than objecting to it and town council planning chairman Clive Smith pointed out that the premises was already being used as a shop (Papillion) and no complaints had ever been received.

Importantly though, Mrs Patrick has the backing of the Dunmow police unit, which describes the idea as "a venture which endeavours to make a very positive contribution to the local community".

Sergeant James Gilchrist, from the South Uttlesford Neighbourhood police team, said: "Generally anti-social behaviour in the town remains at a low level, and I do not feel that this proposal would cause a rise in this type of incident."

He said that community support officers would be paying regular visits to the bar with the hope of engaging the young people of Dunmow to build positive relationships. "We feel the proposal has merit," he said. "Essex police would be supportive of the proposal."

Mrs Patrick hopes to run the bar as a non-profit making organisation to allow it to become a real focal point for the community, providing employment opportunities, learning groups and childcare facilities.

Her supporting document reads: "The key aim is to provide a safe, inviting and sustainable place for young people to meet with friends in the town centre. This will not only make them feel like a valued part of the community, but should reduce complaints of anti-social behaviour and fear of crime arising from young people 'hanging around' in the town, especially in the evenings."

Will a new juice bar aimed at teens bring life to the town centre, or will it just upset the neighbours? Write to us at 2 Angel Lane, Great Dunmow, Essex, CM6 1AQ.

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